If you mention Paul Goldschmidt’s name on the Snake Pit, chances are your comment will be met with some sort of, “Get over it” type response. Yes, he is no longer a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks and has not been for a few seasons now. However, every time I get to watch him face off against the D’backs I am reminded of why I was glued to to television during each of his at-bats when he was in Arizona. Who am I kidding, I still track his career very closely, constantly checking his game logs and watching highlights. If you’ve been following along, you could make an argument that he has the right to the National League MVP award this season. Goldy currently leads the Senior Circuit in almost every offensive statistical category: offensive WAR, batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS +. That dominance continued tonight in the stadium he called home for almost a decade. Mark Grace said it best this evening, he is Jesus Christ in a baseball uniform.
Tommy Henry had the task of going head to head with the offense of a possible World Series contender in only his fourth MLB start and was nothing short of impressive. When you watch him pitch, his poise on the mound indicates that he knows he belongs in an MLB uniform. He never appears nervous, unsettled, or intimidated during difficult moments in the game. Although Goldschmidt tagged him for a two out solo home run in the first and Nolan Arenado followed with a double, he did not let the game unravel and get away from him. After that hiccup to the two best hitters in the Cardinals’ lineup, Henry retired eight hitters in a row, four of them via the strikeout.
Meanwhile, the Arizona offense was unable to get anything going in support of Henry against Miles Mikolas. Mikolas was perfect through 3 2⁄3 innings before finally surrendering a double to Josh Rojas in the bottom of the fourth. That was essentially it for the D’backs offensively against Mikolas with the only other hit being a Sergio Alcantara double in the bottom of the eighth. They say that pitchers duels are difficult to recap which is certainly true because both men dominated the mound resulting in a brisk two hours and fifty two minutes of gameplay. Henry won the strikeout battle sitting down seven Cardinals’ hitters to Mikolas’s’s’s’s’s’s four strikeouts. Henry’s ERA after four MLB starts now stands at a very respectable 3.57.
Henry’s start was a stark contrast to Kevin Ginkel’s performance when he came on in relief in the middle of the sixth inning. Sadly, where Henry appears to have the staying power and belongs on an MLB pitching staff there are serious doubts that the same can be said about Ginkel. Ginkel failed to keep the game within one run allowing four in the seventh, three of which were earned. After striking out Paul DeJong to open the frame, he went single, walk, single, popout, single, double. Garrett Stone was unable to make a sliding grab on a floater to left field on a play that David Peralta made far too often. That made the score four to nothing before Ginkel was lifted for Edwin Uceta. A passed ball by Uceta would bring a fourth run to the plate attributed to Ginkel, although not earned. I don’t mean to be doom and gloom because I truly believed in Ginkel when he first made it to the majors, but he has shown no staying power since then. His season ERA now stands at 8.00. Is it time to Einhorn Ginkel from the bullpen?
Arizona scored their lone run in the in the eighth inning on the aforementioned Alcantara double, but that would be all they could muster. Arizona did have runners on first and third with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, but a trio of strikeouts squashed that “comeback” attempt. Goldschmidt went three for four with a walk and two RBI’s to go along with his solo home run. His OPS on the season is 1.056. His hot corner mate, Nolan Arenado, went four-for-five with three doubles on the evening, and the grandfather clock, Yadier Molina, was three-for-four himself.
I had 3 Sedona red comments to choose from this evening. While not the most rec’d of the trio, kilnborn always seems to hit the mark whenever I have a recap. As much as things change, they stay the same.
I want to thank you all for the warm welcome in my return last week. It means so much to me to be back here doing this again and finding enjoyment in my leisure activities once more. Thank you so much for reading, and I will see you again shortly.